In discussing a recent trade with @LuckyStrikes, we got to talking about our respective valuation methods and how we evaluate a trade. I was under the impression that most people evaluated a trade the same as me, but came to find most do not. I’m starting my 3rd year of ottoneu. I’m not a veteran, but not a rookie either. I still have a lot to learn. I continue to learn here and on Slack by sharing information with others. Hopefully this post will help others learn as well.
When I started to evaluate trades, I used to look heavily at surplus. If I received more surplus, I thought I was winning the trade. This isn’t always the case. An elite player with a few dollars of surplus is worth a lot more than a fringe player with a few dollars of surplus. Just because they have equal surplus, does not make them equal.
I evaluate trades by adding (1) the value I have set for the player + (2) the player’s surplus value, which equals his total value. An example would be in a trade I discussed with Trey, where we were negotiating my $4 Ozzie Albies. I personally value Albies as a $20 player, with upside to be much more in the future. Maybe that’s a crazy valuation, but that’s my valuation. Therefore, at $20, Albies has $16 in surplus. Hence, his total value to me is $20 (my value) + $16 (surplus value) = $36 in total value.
When asking for a return for Albies, I will use this same formula to ensure I receive at least $36 in total value in return. If I do not, I won’t do the deal.
Note, when evaluating trades involving multiple players, consider the value of a roster spot, which people in the community generally value at $1-2 per roster spot. Be sure to add these values into your “total value” equation when considering trading multiple players, like in a 2-for-1 or 3-for-1 scenario. If you are receiving less players than the other team, you are opening up roster spots on your team, which have value. If you are receiving more players than the other team, you are losing roster spots, which also has value. Keep that in mind.
I’d love to hear everyone’s thoughts on my methods. I hope this post helps owners new and old when evaluating trades (and that I didn’t just give away too many secrets to my competitors!!!).